Switzerland is not a party to the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, but has instead opted for a number of bilateral agreements with the EU in order to secure access to the European Internal Market. The Switzerland-EU bilateral agreement on statistics ensures by and large the same rights and obligations for Switzerland in the European Statistical System (ESS) as for the three EEA EFTA States.
Statistical capacity building activities, like the European Statistical Training Programme (ESTP) and cooperation with partners outside the ESS, take part in the framework of “EFTA at four”, i.e. including Switzerland. The EFTA Statistical Office also deals with some reporting obligations such as monitoring the inclusion of Switzerland's data in Eurostat publications. For the most part, however, the relations between Switzerland and the ESS are handled bilaterally by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office and Eurostat with limited involvement of EFTA.